Sci Rep 2016 05 3;6:25387. Epub 2016 May 3.
State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, 163 Xianlin Road, P. R. China.
A series of 12 novel acylhydrazone, chalcone and amide-bridged analogues of combretastatin A-4 were designed and synthesized toward tubulin. All these compounds were determined by elemental analysis, (1)H NMR, and MS. Among them, compound 7 with acylhydrazone-bridge, bearing a benzyl at the indole-N position, was identified as a potent antiproliferative agent against a panel of cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 0.08 to 35.6 μM. In contrast, its cytotoxic effects on three normal human cells were minimal. Cellular studies have revealed that the induction of apoptosis by compound 7 was associated with a collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential, accumulation of reactive oxygen species, alterations in the expression of some cell cycle-related proteins (Cyclin B1, Cdc25c, Cdc2, P21) and some apoptosis-related proteins (Bax, PARP, Bcl-2, Caspase3). The docking mode showed the binding posture of CA-4 and compound 7 are similar in the colchicine-binding pocket of tubulin, as confirmed by colchicine-tubulin competitive binding assay, tubulin polymerization inhibitory activity, extracellular protein expression determination assay and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. In vivo study, compound 7 effectively inhibited A549 xenograft tumor growth without causing significant loss of body weight suggesting that compound 7 is a promising new antimitotic agent with clinical potential.